How to Make Ink for Graffiti Markers


Although many people look down on graffiti, it has actually played an essential part in the history of the world. The only known example of the Safaitic language, which existed around 1 B.C., are graffiti markings. In fact, the earliest known rendition of Jesus Christ is a graffiti work of art. With all of this rich history, it is no wonder people still enjoy practicing the art. Buying ink can be a hassle, however, and can slow down artists in the process. Luckily, using only a few household items, you can make your very own graffiti ink and never be slowed down by having to stop at the store for refills.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Rustoleum Oil Paint
  • Brake Fluid DOT-3
  • Bottle with lid (to mix in)
  • Paint thinner (optional)
  • Put on your rubber gloves and get all of your materials ready. You do not want to have to clean this ink off of your hands.

  • Pour some brake fluid into the bottle. The amount you pour in will depend on how drippy you want your ink to be. More brake fluid will make the ink drippier and cause the ink to dry slower. Your bottle should only be big enough to hold as much ink as you want to keep around. Fill the bottle 1/8 to 1/5 of the way full with brake fluid.

  • Add the Rustoleum oil paint to the brake fluid. The amount you add will vary once again by how drippy you want the ink, and the size of the bottle. A lot of paint will counteract the amount of brake fluid. A good measurement would be to fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full with the paint.

  • Place the cap on the bottle and shake vigorously to ensure it is completely mixed. Once you have shaken the bottle for a minute or so, remove the lid and pour some of the ink into your graffiti marker. Test the marker to see if you are happy with the consistency of the ink.

  • Make any adjustments you deem necessary. If the ink is too thin and drippy, just add some more paint to the mixture. If the ink is too thick, you can add more brake fluid, or even paint thinner at this point. After making the necessary adjustments, replace the cap and shake vigorously again. After shaking, test the ink in your marker again.

  • Continue the process until you have the desired consistency, and then pour all of the ink into your marker. If you have leftover ink, just put the top on the mixing bottle and store it for another time. If you do not have a graffiti marker, you can use an old empty shoe polish bottle as your marker.

  • After using your ink to draw graffiti, wash off the head of your marker if you are using a shoe polish bottle. Otherwise the ink will dry up after a few days and harden.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that the brake fluid you use is DOT-3 and not DOT-4, as DOT-4 will not work as well.
  • In most locales, drawing graffiti on public or private property is illegal unless you own the property or have acquired permission from the property owner. Drawing graffiti without permission may incur a fine, a jail sentence or both.
  • Do not draw on any public places unless you have express permission by the owner of said property.
  • Photo Credit
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